Friday, January 27, 2017

Advocacy for Children in 2016

 Our Club supported the Davis House with a donation and a brief promotion of the charity at our December Holiday luncheon attended not only by our members but the members of the public.  The Davis House serves the 21st Judicial District of Middle Tennessee including Williamson, Hickman, Lewis and Perry Counties, coordinating services to abused children and their families in crisis. Their multi-faceted approach supports law enforcement efforts and provides community education focused on prevention and early intervention. As a 501c3 not-for-profit charity, all of their services are provided at no cost to families. The Davis House is a nationally accredited advocacy.

We have been long-term, monetary supporters of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) whose mission is to advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children.  Their vision is that every child be in a safe and permanent home.

       And, members made direct monetary donations to GFWC Partner, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 


Thursday, January 26, 2017

GFWC Signature Project - 2016 Accomplishments

Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention is the signature project of the General Federation of Women's Clubs International.  The Brentwood Woman's Club supports this project by increasing awareness of the fact that Williamson County, TN., is not void of domestic violence.

We annually adopt at least one family through BRIDGES

In 2016 we adopted 2 families and provided Christmas gifts based on their wish list.  We presented the gifts to BRIDGES "Christmas elf" at our December luncheon and heard an update on the domestic violence statistics for 2016.

We were in touch with both BRIDGES and Morning Star Sanctuary, providing them with info on the $1000 Purple Education & Job Grant we had available.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

2016 Accomplishments in International Outreach

Our GFWC Partner for International Outreach is Operation Smile

Operation Smile was founded in 1982 when Dr. William (Bill) P. Magee, Jr., a plastic surgeon, and his wife, Kathleen (Kathy), a nurse and clinical social worker, traveled to the Philippines with a group of medical volunteers to repair children's cleft lips and cleft palates.
What they found was overwhelming. "People pushed their babies at us." recalls Kathy. "They tugged at our sleeves with tears in their eyes and begged us to help their children." In Naga City, approximately 300 families arrived hoping their children would receive surgery, but the team could only treat 40 children. As they prepared to leave, the Magees made a promise they would return to help more children.
They began soliciting donations of surgical equipment and supplies from manufacturers, threw themselves into grassroots fundraising and assembled a volunteer team of 18 doctors, nurses and technicians for their own medical mission to the Philippines.  They helped approximately 100 more patients, but again, hundreds still waited.

They saw the need and Operation Smile was born.

For the last several years our club has collaborated with volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints to sew "smile" dolls, surgery gowns, armbands, no-sew blankets.  In 2016 together we completed 40 dolls, 70 gowns, 90 armbands, 15 blankets, and 3 quilts that we shipped with 47 toys to Operation Smile headquarters and donated funds for 2 surgeries.

On January 20, 2017, we held our 2017 Operation Smile Day and will be reporting its results soon.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

2016 Accomplishments in Public Issues

Civic and Social Responsibilities are key components in our lives.  Our Public Issues Community Service area focuses on Citizenship, Military Personnel, Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, and Safety and Crime Prevention.  In 2016 our club members accomplished the following:

Members contributed 70 volunteer hours as poll workers in August primary and November general election.

1.       Our Club made a $700 donation to the Joshua Chamberlain Society (JCS), a grass roots non-profit whose mission is to provide long term support to veterans that sustained permanent combat injuries fighting the long war on terror for our nation and long term support to the children of local veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in our service.  JCS Nashville was formed in 2013 and has adopted 2 veterans injured in Afghanistan.  This non-profit raises funds for the benefit of these veterans and there are NO administrative costs.   We made our donation and publicized this non-profit at our May “Step Up – It’s a Charity Affair” luncheon and hosted a speaker from JCS for our monthly program in November.

2.       We collected magazines, paperback books, and past National Geographic magazines at various meetings and delivered to the Nashville VA Hospital in December to re-supply waiting areas with more recent reading materials for Veterans and their family’s enjoyment.

3.       We made a $700 donation to Operation StandDown Tennessee, the only Veteran Service Center in our state recognized by the US Department of Veteran Affairs.  Serving honorably discharged veterans is their sole focus.  There are four major components of OSDN – 1) Veteran Service Center, 2) Transitional Housing Program, 3) Stand Down Events, and 4) a thrift store.

4.   In support of our GFWC Partner, the USO, members made direct monetary donations  in support of our military personnel.

 Our First Vice-President, a retired Army colonel, presented a program on travelling safely in this age of terrorism after the bombing of the Brussels’ airport and provided members with a safety checklist at our April general meeting.

Monday, January 23, 2017

2016 Accomplishments in Home Life

Through our Home Life Community Service area we address issues that affect the well-being of individuals, families, and communities such as women’s health, theft prevention, service dog programs, people with disabilities, healthy lifestyles, childcare, and eldercare.  Our projects in 2016 were:

1.   The second Monday of each month (12 months of the year), club members entertained a group of residents at Grace Healthcare, a local nursing home in Franklin, with Bingo.  We collected and supplied small prizes for the winners.  We averaged about 30 residents playing each month and everyone won a prize before the final game ended..  This project promotes cognitive activity, fosters fellowship and friendships, and provides an entertaining diversion from the loneliness felt by many residents.   In the months with special occasions we made the atmosphere festive with center  pieces, colorful beads, stuffed animals and other decorative items associated with that holiday.  This is our longest established project.               

2.       In the Spring and Fall, members collected and transported several vehicle loads of used clothing and household goods to The Second Time Around boutique in Wartburg, TN., for the Unicorn Fund GFWC Mountain Project.  Wartburg is in an economically depressed county in East Tennessee.  The boutique, part of the Unicorn Foundation, sells the items to area residents at a minimal charge and uses the proceeds to fund educational scholarships for area students.

3.       Our club purchased infant items to help supply Joey's Pouch at the Williamson Medical Center for distribution to mothers who have limited resources when discharged from the hospital after giving birth.  In 2016 several of our members attended a tour of the new Children’s Emergency Department and Hospital Wing, which is a large improvement on care for children in Williamson County.

4.       We collected the aluminum tabs off cans and donated to the Ronald McDonald House. 

5.     We presented a donation to GraceWorks at our December Holiday Luncheon event, allowing the designated board member to highlight her organization to the attendees.  GraceWorks, a ministry organized in 1995 by area residents who saw needs in Williamson County that were not being filled, focuses on four areas:  family support, hunger prevention, seasonal needs and educational programs. 

                Several new members adopted GraceWorks for donation of their preferred volunteer service hours.  They assisted in various ways by sorting, pricing, and organizing clothes for sale in the thrift shop and organizing food in the food bank.

        6.    For our major project for Home Life we chose 2 camps for children to support.  One is Camp Horizon.  This is a one week camp for children with cancer.  They stay for the whole week and all their needs are met for medicine and any necessary treatments.  They get to play games, do art projects and activities any child would do at camp.  There is a second week for siblings of these children because sometimes they don’t get the attention they would normally receive.  The cost is $500 per child and we sponsored 2 children.   One of our members personally volunteers during the camp helping the children with their art activities. 

        7.   Members personally made monetary donations to GFWC’s Home Life Partner:  Canine Companions.   Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. Headquartered in Santa Rosa, CA, Canine Companions is the largest non-profit provider of assistance dogs.

       8.   Our club made a donation to the local Easter Seals chapter, providing funds for disabled children to attend a summer camp.  Easter Seals is another GFWC Home Life Partner.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

2016 Accomplishments in Education

1.       Our club continues to raise funds to build our endowment at Columbia State Community College which we created in 2014.  The endowment’s purpose is to benefit the neediest of our local females, be they recent high school graduates or women who are seeking to improve their career opportunities.  We presented our donation this year at our major fund-raiser in May to promote our efforts in education to members in attendance.

2.       We provided a $1000 to Unicorn Fund’s Scholarship program in Wartburg, TN.   In years past we paid our scholarship dollars directly to the college or community college the recipient attended.  So as not to diminish the what the Tennessee Promise scholarship program would pay, we send our donated funds directly to the Unicorn Fund and expect an accounting for how our funds were used to benefit the recipient  directly for out of pocket expenses associated with her college attendance.  Two members attended the Fund’s Scholarship Award Brunch.

3.        We collected “Boxtops for Education” for our local schools.

4.       We collected over 500 books for the GFWC of TN book tree, soliciting from our members, the public, and the Friends of the Brentwood Library.

5.       We publicized GFWC of Tennessee’s scholarship, and GFWC’s Success for Survivors criteria and application via emails and press releases. 

6.       We  offered a $1000 grant to local domestic violence shelters for a survivor who needed financial assistance for education or job training.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2016 Accomplishments in Conservation

      Club hosted Mary Pearce, the executive director of the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County for a program in January and learned about a preservation project of the Franklin Old, Old Jail.  Members later attended a tour of the facility and presented a donation, earning a "key to the jail" shown above with our 2014-2016 club president, Paula Uhlir.

In February our club was recognized by the city of Brentwood with an Environmental Stewardship Plaque.

 Assisted the Brentwood Tree Commission with bagging 4000 trees for distribution on Arbor Day at the local schools and library. 

Club hosted a member of the Friends of Radnor Lake at our May fund-raiser and donated $500 to assist them in purchasing additional land for the Radnor Lake State Park.
          Manned a Keep Williamson Beautiful information and activity booth at the Williamson County Fair in August, distributing literature on re-cycling and assisting children with a re-cycling project.

Throughout the year our Conservation CSA chairman attended local Keep Williamson Beautiful monthly board meetings to assist in their plans and report back to our club.  Keep Williamson Beautiful is the local affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and we seek to collaborate on projects whenever appropriate.

         We picked up litter from our “Adopt-a-Mile” area twice in 2016 with the help of the Brentwood High School Honor Society. 

GFWC's Conservation PARTNER is The Nature Generation.  We receive this charity’s online newsletter and made an online donation.

Having completed the installation of a Butterfly Garden at  Owen Chapel, a local historic church’s public garden, we performed maintenance on 3 separate occasions.

We supported Owl’s Hill, a Williamson County 160 acre preserve whose mission is dedicated 
to education (particularly school-age children), conservation, restoration, research, and species protection with a donation and publicity.  This preserve has a butterfly garden and youth education programs which meet the guidelines of this GFWC partner.

      We announced a donation and introduced Owl’s Hill’s executive director, Margaret Cameron, at our December Holiday luncheon to publicize the Preserve to our luncheon attendees.  We also supported a matching grant online solicitation drive of Owl’s Hill by doing a blast email to all members to which members made additional donations. 

In support of EARTH Day, members read an environmental-friendly book to second graders at Edmondson Elementary school and enlisted their respective promises to promote "reduce, re-cycle, and re-use" practises in their homes.  This Environmental Reading program is a collaboration project with Keep Williamson Beautiful and which also qualifies under GFWC Partner “The Nature Generation” web-site program guidelines.



Monday, January 16, 2017

2016 Accomplishments - ARTS

The Brentwood Woman's Club had another productive year as evidenced in the reports we sent to our Music City District and our state federation:

In our Arts Community Service Area:

GFWC Youth Poetry and Short Story Writing Contests:
(1)     We held a Celebration of Arts reception in January, 2016, for the students with winning poems and short stories submitted for our 2015 local GFWC Youth Writing Contests.  Parents, teachers, and friends attended.  Photos were made for submission to local newsprint and online news outlets.    We obtained monetary awards from a member’s family charitable foundation for each of our winners:  $100 for each 1st, $75 for  2nd, and $50 for 3rd place winners.  Each 1st place poetry winner read his/her entry to the assembly of guests.
                To promote the ARTS in general              
(2)     We contacted the Arts Council of Williamson County to offer our support for the artist internship week for the Williamson County schools.  They were glad to receive our support and we gave the president of the council a check for $400 at our 2016 spring fundraiser luncheon.  They have chosen a resident artist for spring 2017.

(3)     We hosted a Nordic singer, Solveig Leithhaug, at our spring fundraiser who sang and talked about songs of her native Norway.
(4)     We hosted author Andrew Maraniss at the December fundraiser.  He spoke to attendees about his book Strong Inside, a biography of Perry Wallace.  In 1966 Perry Wallace became the first African American basketball player in the SouthEast Conference when he enrolled in Vanderbilt University.  Signed books were sold to interested attendees.

(5) We supported our local high school choir with a $250 donation and hosted them for a presentation of their holiday musical program at our December luncheon event.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Seeking Nominations for Woman of the Year

For the past 8 years the Brentwood Woman’s Club has selected a non-member, to honor as their Woman of the Year.  Nominations are due by February 7 and can be submitted to club via email or mailed to the club at PO Box 964, Brentwood, TN. 37024.  The selected recipient will be honored at our May 2 Step Up:  It's a Charity Affair fund-raising luncheon at the Brentwood County Club.  

The nomination criteria is as follows:

Woman of the Year Award

All nominations must be received by February 7, 2017
All nominees must be residents of Williamson County, Tennessee, or any of the adjacent counties of Davidson, Rutherford, Marshall, Maury, Hickman, Dickson, or Cheatham. You may nominate as many women as you like. Use a separate form for each Nominee.

Submit all nominations via email to or mail to GFWC Brentwood Woman’s Club, PO Box 964, Brentwood, TN 37024.

Your Name:
Your phone number
Your email address: 
Name of your Nominee: 
Nominee’s phone number: 
Nominee’s email address: 
Nominee’s principal occupation and/or area of volunteerism:

Nomination submission should cover the following questions:
Why you have chosen to nominate this woman?

What significant contributions has your Nominee made to Williamson County, the state of Tennessee, or our country on the national scene during the past year?

Highlight lifetime contributions and their cumulative benefits to communities and individuals.
If your Nominee’s community contributions are in conjunction with her occupation, how has she gone beyond what is required in her occupation, so as to contribute altruistically to the community? 

Describe the extent to which your Nominee may have identified an unmet need in the community, met that need, and created new value, or noticeable positive change, as a result of her contributions.
. . .

Prior honorees have been Linda Lynch, City of Brentwood Community Relations Director; Joyce Keistler, Director of the Martin Center; Susan Leathers, prior Editor and Co-Owner Brentwood Home Page, Franklin Home Page and BrentWord Communications; Linda Jackson, Executive Director of BRIDGES; Nancy Osman, community volunteer and Director of Ty2 Foundation, Jennifer Wolcott, community volunteer with the American Red Cross (Natchez Trace Chapter) and the Oasis Center, Vicky Smith, Senior manager, Corporate Social Responsibility for Nissan North America, and Renata Soto, co-founder of Conexion Americas.